Last week, I completed a circuit of the Patagonia Lake District via boat and bus to survey the volcanoes in the region which are important sources of metal contaminants to our study lakes. It was a wonderful trip especially as we had clear skies, excellent views of all of the volcanoes, plus lots of flowers in bloom everywhere. One of the things I have been working on is capturing “decisive moments” for people and animals both — but I do not like posting recognizable images of people on the internet. So I have been looking at my approaches and see how I can capture people in action while respecting their privacy. This is one of those images.
I really like the humour inherent in this image. The kelp gull (Larus dominicanus), hitching a free ride on the boat, was tolerating the occasional photographer who ventured to the top deck. At times, the gull even appeared to be posing for a select few. This gull species will follow tour boats all over the lake and as such, is a frequent subject of travel photos, unlike for Nahuelito. This interaction was brief – the very next second the gull flew away. But in that preceding split-second, the eye contact between the bird and the human makes this image work despite its technical flaws.
Shooting into the sun is usually not encouraged, especially if fill-in flash is not used, but this was the only angle afforded in this situation. Even so, the reflection off the white surface highlighted the gull’s body very nicely, better than any flash would have done. And I like how the sun flared into the camera lens — the symbolism is nice given that it is very similar to the sun on the Argentina flag! Plus shooting against the sun ensured that the woman was mostly in silhouette, and so I could post this image while conserving her privacy.